About The Royle Family - Caroline Aherne, Craig Cash, Ricky Tomlinson and Sue Johnston

scene from The Royle Family

While the late Caroline Aherne (who died from cancer in July 2016) was the driving force and creative soul of the show, producer Glenn Wilhide also had an equally important role to play in the production of The Royle family. He wanted to break free of the conventional British sitcom formula, and fought ITV to do away with a live audience and canned laugh track. He also insisted on using a single camera to shoot the comedy. The result? A hugely popular sitcom that won a total of 23 high profile awards from BAFTA, British Comedy Awards, Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, National Television Awards and Royal Television Society.

Every episode of The Royle Family takes place in the home of the Royles (usually in the living room) and features a single camera that was focused at the eye level of the characters. The interaction between members of the lower middle class Northern England family will slowly reel viewers in with its sincerity and wit. The show has no pretence, no dramatic moments, and no overarching plat that ties the episodes together. Yet, the dialogue is hysterically funny, topical and mirrors the conversation of families all across the country. It’s almost like Seinfeld, in that, there is no plot – it’s a show about nothing.


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Mum (Sue Johnston), Dad (Ricky Tomlinson), Denise (Caroline Aherne) and Antony (Ralf Little) sit in front of the television in their squalid living room, smoking, talking and bickering.

From time to time, Denise's boyfriend Dave (Craig Cash) or her best friend Cheryl (Jessica Stevenson) pops in for a chat.

Dave and Denise were married at the end of the first series. At the beginning of the second series, Denise announces that she's pregnant

The theme song is "Half The World Away", by Oasis.

Series: 3
Episodes: 23
Transmitted: 1998-2008
Channel: BBC2 / BBC1

BBC Television

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